Overview of the Certification
Azure Fundamentals is the first step towards Microsoft’s other role-based certifications. It provides foundational knowledge about basic cloud concepts and services. It gives an overall understanding of elements of cloud, such as security and privacy, compliance, and trust.
The idea behind this certification is to take the focus away from learning and remembering the key elements of the cloud. Microsoft has restructured all its Azure certifications to focus on the role that one would play after the certification rather than the concepts themselves. This, according to it, will focus on aligning job roles with what skills individuals will learn and develop during the process of this certification.
This change was not a random strategy decision, either. It was done after consulting their tech community and identifying how the performance in those roles could be made better. Cloud computing is the new face of IT, and companies are clamoring to be ahead in the race. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have already made several leaps in the industry to become leaders. Each of them is focusing on their proprietary platforms and certifications to equip individuals with the required skills.
Microsoft has revamped its structure so that it is an optimal choice for individuals and corporations alike. Microsoft Azure is its flagship cloud computing platform. It allows individuals and corporations to leverage the services of cloud systems without having to invest in expensive infrastructure or setting up specialized hardware. According to Microsoft, it gets 1000 new users on Azure for various certifications. That means it generates a whopping 365000 users on an average per year for its cloud computing platform.
Azure is highly flexible and affordable. Azure is pay-as-you-go and has top-notch security. This makes it one of the most trusted cloud computing platforms – a fact testified by the US government’s reliance on this software.
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What are the Eligibility Criteria for Azure Fundamentals Certification?
According to Microsoft, this exam is ‘designed for candidates looking to demonstrate foundational-level knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.’ There are no separate criteria for this certification. For obtaining Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals certification, you need to clear AZ-900, Microsoft’s Azure Fundamentals exam.
The lack of eligibility criteria means it is open to everyone who has some measure of involvement in any cloud-based solutions. This is also useful for professionals with a technical background to validate their foundation-level knowledge around cloud services.
While technical IT experience is not required, Microsoft suggests that general IT knowledge would be useful while attempting this exam. This exam is an optional first step in learning about the cloud. That means professionals involved in various measures in the cloud need not attempt this exam before exploring further.
Program managers, sales representatives, and other professionals who tackle cloud computing, or sell cloud-based products but are not involved in their execution will benefit from this certification. AZ-900 usually acts as a precursor to studying Microsoft Azure or Microsoft cloud services exams. Microsoft claims, ‘While it would be a beneficial first step, validating foundational-level knowledge, taking this exam is not a prerequisite before taking any other Azure-based certifications.
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What is the Certification Process and the Cost of Azure Fundamentals Exam?
Microsoft Azure Fundamental certification required professionals to attempt the Azure Fundamental exam, the AZ-900. The exam would introduce the concepts of cloud computing to professionals. The exam has anywhere between 40 and 60 questions that need be attempted in 85 minutes – a few minutes shy of 1.5 hours. The fee varies based on the country from which the exam is being proctored. In the US, it is $99. The passing score is 700.
According to Azure Fundamentals training requirements page, the exam weightage for the skills that would be measured are as follows
- Understand cloud concepts (15-20%)
- Understand core Azure services (30-35%)
- Understand security, privacy, compliance, and trust (25-30%)
- Understand Azure pricing and support (20-25%)
There need not be questions from a single pattern of questions. The questions could be in different formats such as case study, short answer, multiple-choice, multiple answers, hot area, build list, review screen, active screen, best answer, drag, and drop, etc. There is a fee reduction if you are a Microsoft Imagine Academy program member, Microsoft Partner Network program member, or a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook for Azure Fundamentals Certification?
Glassdoor estimates that the salary for professionals who have this certification is about $120000. However, it is important to remember that this figure might not be a true reflection of the salary that is a direct result of this certification.
Since there are no prerequisites or eligibility criteria, this exam could be written by anyone. However, it would benefit any professional who has some measure of involvement in the cloud. That means the professional could be as high as program managers for a cloud-based project or a salesperson in charge of selling any cloud-based solution.
It is not required that people who are thus involved in cloud computing have a technical background. The salaries of program managers and salespeople could skew the results of salaries that are a direct result of getting this certification.
Some roles that you can take up with this certification are
- Cloud Architect
- Cloud Administrator
- Cloud Developer
- Cloud Sales and Purchase Manager
- Cloud DevOps Engineer
- Azure Big Data Specialist
- Azure Networking Specialist
- Cloud Key Account Manager
Where to Get Online Resources for Azure Fundamentals Certification?
Microsoft’s Azure training page has all the required information for azure certifications. It even has the required skills, including changes made in a downloadable format. Apart from that, several other trainers offer training services for all azure certifications. These include Cloud Academy, Udemy, Simplilearn, etc.